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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NELP - Two Million Unemployed Job Seekers Will Lose Benefits, with Nov. 30 Expiration Date

Government employment of the unemployed is one...Image via Wikipedia
As the rate of unemployment is not expect
to dramatically decrease, is it time for a
President Roosevelt type WPA program
to address long-term jobless rates?
On the heels of President Obama’s Top Economic Advisor, Paul Volcker's comments on November 8th, in Beijing, China at the International Financial Forum; the National Employment Law Project (NELP) released a revised press release stating that up to two million unemployed job seekers, would lose supplemental jobless benefits payments on November 30th, if Congress does not allocate new funds to extend the program.

In a press release, the organization explains how they concluded the newer higher estimates:

As with our prior estimates, this figure included two groups of jobless workers

  •  those who are currently collecting state unemployment benefits but will not be able to move into the federal emergency program once they have exhausted their state benefits (387,054 workers); and
    
  • those who are already collecting one of four “tiers” of benefits (ranging from 34 to 53 weeks) under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) but who will not be able to move onto a subsequent tier to collect their maximum weeks of benefits (828,179 workers).
Today, we are updating this analysis to include a third category: workers who are already receiving benefits under the federal/state permanent Extended Benefits (EB) program, which is currently 100% federally-funded.  The EB program provides 13-20 weeks of benefits to workers living in high unemployment states, typically after workers collect their EUC.  

Unlike workers in the “tiered” EUC program who will continue to receive benefits until they reach the limit of their current tier, workers in the EB program in a number of states will suffer an immediate hard cut-off of benefits when the temporary federal funding ends.

Specifically, EB benefits are currently being paid in 24 states (plus District of Columbia) where the assistance “sunsets” when the federal government is no longer picking up the costs.  In these states, the benefits lapse on December 4th in most cases (though in some cases through to January 1st).  

While some workers in this program were cut off of benefits when the EB program lapsed in June, the total number of workers who will suffer a benefits loss now if the program is not renewed far surpasses the earlier numbers.  Indeed, NELP estimates that about 800,000 workers will experience a near-immediate termination of extended benefits if the federal program is not renewed.

What are your thoughts on the NELP Report? Are you in danger of losing your unemployment benefits payments if Congress does not act by November 30th? Feel free to comment on this story below!

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